Pot Smoking and Nursing - page 2

Im angry. I work for a small clinic in Northern CA. There are three RN's on staff at all time. Recently our Office Manager decided to start drug testing of all staff including Doctors. Well, one... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    An unwritten policy OK'ing marijuana on drug screen....hmm.

    Some pretty naive folks here..and this could only come from California medical professionals....LOL!

    Don'tcha think as soon as something goes wrong these legally positive drug screens can be used against the perps? Talk about a built in scapegoat system.....
  2. by   Huganurse
    In my state not only do you loose your job, but it is law that any employer who tests prospective employees for drug use and they are positive, are immediatly reported to the board of nursing who then takes appropriate action. You can loose your license if you do not comply with the boards punishment and/or treatment guidelines. They test for a couple of years after treatment has been completed. A potential loss of a nurses career seems like enough to deter any nurse in my state from using drugs! Are there other states with these laws and treatment programs?
  3. by   Rustyhammer
    Are you all trying to tell me that marijuana is still illegal??
    pfffftt..*cough...cough...(Bummer man!)
  4. by   shay
    Originally posted by Rustyhammer
    Are you all trying to tell me that marijuana is still illegal??
    pfffftt..*cough...cough...(Bummer man!)
    LOL! :roll
  5. by   sasseynurse
    Lots of good comments here. And I think each point of view has its merits. IMHO, people do take risks and they indulge in all sorts of risky and immoral behaviors outside the parameters of work.

    Random drug testing is ok with me, since I have submitted to testing for all sorts of jobs unrelated to nursing. As more and more employers are requiring drug testing for hiring, does it not make sense to follow-up on the employees throughout their relationship with their employer?

    But on the other hand, suppose there is an employee just returning from vacation or extended time away from work-who happens to be back at work the day drug testing is done. A positive test for MJ use comes back and the employee ends up loosing their job or even worse their entire working or education privilidges? How fair is that?

    Sounds like a double edged sword to me.

    Using good common sense is the key, but let's not punish those with a good job performence record just because they choose an idulgence when they felt they had the freedom to do so and took personal risks despite the obvious laws in place.
    It is, for sure, a debate that will not go away anytime soon.
  6. by   MollyJ
    RE: the marijuana study:
    I know that the amount of marijuana that was smoked was modest and as Dr. Ohlmes said, it was that low-grade government research stuff (standardized dose). The point was that the impairment persisted for 24 hours and that is why I wrote that I would not want a nurse who had smoked within the last 24 hours OR was habitual user.

    I agree with the poster that said that a person who uses rarely but enough in the past can still get caught by a drug screen and that drug screen may not correlate well at all to current impairment. It is a dilemma, but not to those of us who don't use. btw, at www.drugtestinfo.com a web site put up by a toxicologist, he points out that the rare user may only have a positive THC for 4 or 5 days. It takes pretty consistent use to stay positive for 30 days. I love talking with kids that have gotten tripped up by drug screens. They've not used for "months"--until the drug screen returns. And then it's weeks--"oh, yeah or like a month ago" (when they find out about the upper parameters of the test). You know, one real bonus of not doing illicit substances if you don't have to keep track of the current story: you can just say what you do.

    I agree that the (Etoh) hung over can be impaired. Any of us who have carried a hung over nurse for a shift would agree. That constitutes an argument for nurses being very selective about what drugs--if any--they put in their bodies prior to going on-shift. I wouldn't go to work having used Benadryl in the past 6 to 8 hours. A study showed that people can be more impaired by benadryl than alcohol.

    thisnurse, I'm inclined to think you might mind about what a nurse does in his/her time off IF their decisionmaking was impaired during the care of your family member. Nurses in treatment for substance abuse really suffer with the guilt of their omissions and commissions during their using days.

    ALL nurses need to be attentive to chemicals (recreational and otherwise) that they put in their body that might impact their caregiving ability in the near future.
  7. by   mcl4
    I guess my problem is that I have never understood anyone's need or desire to "get high"... To me it is an indicator of an underlying problem in their life. Maslow didn't include getting high on his heirarchy. I think the need to get high is to numb the pain of not fulfilling some of the higher needs that Maslow points toward... perhaps love, or self-fulfillment. Just my sober opinion..




    ITA and question why one would want to risk their job and license using an illegal substance. In addition, as a parent, we lead by examples and it would be hard to explain to our teens why it is ok for us to smoke pot and they should not.
  8. by   John Boy 2002
    Hmmm....My philosphy is when you are NOT at work it is nobody's business.

    I would refer anyone with strong objections to read, "It ain't nobody's business if you do" by Peter McWilliams (I think that is his name).

    You will be surprised what all the controversy is about. It is definately NOT health related but money motivated.

    But then again... I AM CANADIAN!!!

    take care my fellow humanists (with warmth and sincerity)
  9. by   tapper
    For those who abstain from enjoying a little reefer due to the damaging effects it MIGHT have on the lungs . . . enjoy a "brownie" with your glass of milk ;-)
    Last edit by tapper on Apr 12, '02
  10. by   Dplear
    Who has the Doritos?

    Dave
  11. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by Dplear
    Who has the Doritos?

    Dave
    <munch><munch> (crumbs falling from face) I dunno, Dude, but would you quit bogarting and pass the doobie??!!! <cough><cough> I gotta head to work in a minute!
  12. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Thank you George for putting it simply! Marijuana use is illegal and is cause for license revocation in every state of this country. If you need to be high to work, or high to forget work, get help period. And fyi..look at your practice regulations about crimes of moral turpitude...drunk in public can get your license revoked too in some states, if reported....
    chas
  13. by   frosteefire
    Hi everyone
    I am another one of these people that feels very strongly that any institution that tests employees for marijuana use, and suspends those who come back positive, should also be prepared to fire employees for alcohol use (and that means *any* alcohol use, after all, the drug tests arent allowing occasional use are they?)....
    And YES, it is illegal, but as was pointed out, we all do plenty of things which are illegal - even those of us who might think we are angels . Our employers should be just that - employers - NOT law enforcers. Leave it up to the cops - if someone is smoking enough that they are impairing their everyday life, then they will get busted. And obviously, if someone comes on the floor impaired, they should be asked to leave - just as a person who comes on the floor still hung over should be asked to leave.

    Whew! there's my piece
    G'night everyone......

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